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U.S. House of Representatives is Without Consensus on Immigration Reform

capitol.jpgIt appears that the U.S. House of Representatives is much further from producing an immigration reform bill than expected. Despite pressure from President Obama, who has indicated he could craft his own bill, and the U.S. Senate which passed their bill in June, many of the House’s leaders are slow to take up a bill. Even if the House were to present some type of immigration bill, it would likely not be in a large, comprehensive form like the one produced by the Senate.

I have been an immigration attorney for many years and have come to expect the government to move slowly on any grand reform. On a politically charged issue like immigration, it is natural to expect many political leaders to heed the concerns of their constituents and move slowly, if at all, to support any changes to the system.

While there has been support for immigration reform from many Republican leaders, including President George W. Bush and vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, many of the House’s Republican members are unconvinced that reform will benefit the nation. Many Republicans have pointed a finger at the Obama administration, saying that the President cannot be trusted to fulfill his responsibilities in securing the border.

The lack of trust on the part of House leadership has compelled many to support a piecemeal approach to immigration reform. Unlike the Democrat-controlled Senate which passed a comprehensive bill, many in the Republican-controlled House would like to pass a number of bills that would tackle specific issues individually. Bills related to enhanced border security are likely to be passed much sooner than those involving citizenship.
Much of the reticence on the part of House leadership can be attributed to a diverse set of viewpoints on many of these issues. Many Republicans fully recognize the need to win political support from the Latino community in order to win national elections, while others feel that assumption is not accurate. Many of these Representatives are also from staunchly conservative districts which vehemently oppose providing legal status to those who broke U.S. laws.

This division among Republicans can be most visible on the issue of citizenship. The Hispanic community is unlikely to be swayed by anything less than a path to full citizenship, which is why some prominent Republican leaders have come out to support it. Rep. Paul Ryan, who could contend for the presidency in 2016, has implied his support for citizenship if it could be linked to “real triggers” on border security. Many other Republicans adamantly oppose a path to citizenship even if they are in favor of legalization.

As an immigration attorney, I recognize that are viable reasons for those who support and oppose immigration reform. From a purely pragmatic point of view, it appears likely that some form of change to the immigration system will be implemented, as the Senate and the President have come out on the side of change.

Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC is a noted legal establishment which has served the Austin community on an array of immigration and family law issues. To learn how Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC can assist you, please call (512) 215-5225.

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